iPadOS 13.1 Initial Thoughts

So like so many, I now have iPadOS running on my iPad Pro. I resisted running the beta versions because I rely on my iPad so much during my normal work day now.

What follows is my experiences over the first few days of using it. This is not intended as a complete review, I am focusing on the areas that have prevented me from fully embracing the daily routine with just an iPad (except for Xcode that I still need a Mac for!).


The upgrade went flawlessly, all things considered I would say it went pretty fast too. I did first do a full back up just like always, if you are wondering the best way, then I did a CompileSwift Podcast Episode on just that very thing here.

Home Screen

Perhaps the most exciting feature for me has always been the idea behind the new home screen with the ability to have widgets always displayed on the left hand side of the display. So the first thing I did was turn that (and dark mode) on.

Glorious! Is the only way I can describe it, exactly as I had hoped, I can have the widgets for my most used apps right there along with my Shortcuts workflows that I use on a regular basis, more on the new Shortcuts later.

The one thing I was hoping for and did not get was the persistent widget display across multiple screens, once you swipe to the right to display another screen of applications, the widget display disappears. I really wanted that to persist across all my home screens, especially since there is now room for extra icons.

New Multitasking Features

Multitasking has received lots of love in this new version, having the ability to switch between apps in the floating popup window (drag from the right hand side of the screen) work like the iPhone is fantastic. Essentially, I can now run two apps side-by-side and have just about everything else that I have open appear with just two swipes.

It really does just work, and has saved me time already. Well done Apple.

Going Forward

Overall, I feel this first release of iPadOS is a good one, and certainly one that the iPad needed. I can understand Apple’s desire to try and not have yet another OS to manage, but at least this one stays in close contact with it’s family.

My hope is that the iPad having its own path to follow will now open the device up to really embracing its full potential, one that I feel has always been it’s goal since the creation of the device.

For me, it took a massive leap forward to being my only daily carry device for dealing with everything but Xcode development.